Laws governing a minor in possession of alcohol, underage consumption, and underage DUIs are harsh. In these laws, a minor refers to anyone who has not reached the legal drinking age of 21.
The state of Georgia has a zero tolerance policy on minors who drive under the influence. Minors are prohibited to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration greater then 0.02. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 10% of all teens in high school will drink and drive at least once.
Being charged with a DUI could put up roadblocks to your future. A DUI arrest will appear on your record immediately. Colleges, insurance companies, and employers will be able to see your arrest and may not be willing to look past it.
Criminal Penalties for Minors
Not only does a DUI leave a lifetime mark on your criminal record but also carries serious penalties:
- Serving at least 24 hours of jail time
- 40 hours of community service
- Serve 12 months on probation
- Random alcohol and drug screening tests during probation
- Attend 20 hours in driver's risk reduction program
- Pay at least $300 in fines, not including program fees, probation fees, license suspension fees, drug testing fees, etc.
License Suspensions for Minors
When you are convicted with a DUI as a minor, your driver's license will be suspended by the Georgia Department of Driver Services. The amount of time varies depending on the blood alcohol content that was noted at the time of your arrest. For example,
- 6-month suspension with no limited permit if BAC was 0.02 – 0.08
- 12-month suspension with no limited permit if BAC was above 0.08 or testing was refused
How to Prevent a DUI
If you want to prevent teen drinking and driving,
- Inform them of the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving. It is also imperative that you set a good example by not drinking and driving yourself.
- Set clear rules against drinking and driving. A study of over 1,000 teens found that teens with involved parents who set clear behavioral expectations, monitored their teens whereabouts, and weren't afraid to say no are four times less likely to engage in behaviors such as drinking and driving.
- Create a secret code. Many teens admit that they do not call for help when they are around alcohol is because they do not want their friends to overhear them or they are afraid their parents will discipline them. Create a secret code such as a phrase or number that means your teen needs a designated driver. It is also important to establish a sense of trust such as “no questions asked” if a ride is needed.
- Give teens access to ride services. Make sure your teen can get a safe ride with services such as Uber, Lyft, or a taxi to prevent driving under the influence.
The Importance of Consulting an Experienced DUI Attorney
If you are a minor in the state of Georgia convicted of a DUI, there may be a lifetime of consequences. The driving restrictions alone could cost internships, jobs, or school. It is important to consult an experienced DUI attorney who will fight for your rights and avoid a lifetime record that could impact college and future employment opportunities. Call the Don Turner Legal Team at 770-594-1777. We have 40 years of legal experience and is ranked as one of Georgia's top 100 DUI attorneys.